The Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke, at about 10:10 a.m. on Saturday cast his vote at the Ward 3, polling unit 4 of Enugu-ukwu town, Njikoka Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Okeke is not seeking re-election as deputy governor because his tenure ends with that of Governor Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) after their eight-year two terms in office.
However, the deputy governor’s defection from APGA to APC a few weeks ago has become a major talking point in the election.
After casting his vote, Mr Okeke said he was satisfied with the process, describing it as the ‘smoothest’ he has ever experienced.
“Before my fingerprints use to have issues with the smart card readers but in .this election, it was smooth and everything went seamless”, he said.
He also said he was impressed with the turnout of voters considering the security tension in the state ahead of the polls.
The deputy governor said the federal government was able to restore confidence in the people to come out and vote by ensuring adequate deployment of security personnel.
But despite the deployment of over 34, 000 security operatives, there was not enough security at different polling units in many parts of the state including that of the deputy governor. This is largely because of poor deployment logistics.
Mr Okeke acknowledged the poor deployment of security officials. “Even the police we are talking about are not here but the thing is that people are peaceful and going about the business of voting in an orderly manner so am impressed”, he said.
“So far, in my unit, things are going well. If what I’m seeing here is what is happening all over the state, it means INEC has fulfilled its promise to deliver free, credible and safe election”, he told reporters.
Meanwhile, a brief altercation had ensued between his loyalists and those of the APGA earlier.
Mr Okeke led a bout of defections which saw many APGA lawmakers defect to the APC. It is said that the outcome of today’s polls in Enugu-ukwu is a litmus test on his popularity in the town which is largely considered an APGA stronghold.
He appears to be under pressure to prove his mettle to his new party by winning his LGA.
Mr Okeke is from Umu Ezu-Awo village in Enugu-ukwu.